Unidentified assailants shot Saikia several times at point-blank range near his office in the town of
Saikia worked as district correspondent for the vernacular daily Amar Asom, based in Assam’s capital, Guwahati, according to Nava Thakuria, secretary of the Guwahati Press Club, who spoke with CPJ by telephone. Saikia was shot at least five times in the chest, according to local news reports.
Saikia frequently wrote about rivalries between armed groups and political organizations fighting over control of Kokrajhar and neighboring western districts of Assam that have a predominantly ethnic Bodo population, Thakuria said. Insurgents have sought, at times violently, a separate Bodo state, according to published reports.